Monday, December 19, 2011

Bread and Stones

Here in the Herod house we celebrate Christmas with many traditions. We have some unique ones! We eat Swedish Pancakes, eat Pepparkrakor and two tone fudge, and light off fireworks, or eat shrimp and barbecue wings,build gigantic sandcastles on the beach, and play corn hole. However, we also include traditional things like sending Christmas cards, opening a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve, getting a new ornament that represents an interest each child had that year, preparing our hearts by doing Advent, and reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning. And of course, we give gifts!!

The other morning I just happened to read the passage in Matthew 7 about our Father giving gifts to us. Many people view God as a spiritual Santa, and we all know that this isn't the case. His ultimate goal is not to grant our wishes and make us happy,but rather to work in our lives to complete the good work He has begun in us. But the fact remains that every good and perfect gift DOES come from Him.

My children begin discussing what they would like for Christmas the first time a Christmas commercial airs in November. They begin to ask. And, they ask. And, they ask. This is how we ought to pray! If I pay enough attention, I notice that they are asking for some of the same things over and over again.I figure out what is really of interest to them. Our prayers to God are as revealing. I try really hard to get those things for my children most of the time. Sometimes, they ask for something over and over and it is NOT in my plan to give it, or in their best interest to receive it. (Celeste wanted an iPhone...not gonna happen!) She liked the IDEA of having an iPhone because she saw an older friend that had one. What I know as her Mom, is that she will reap much more joy from getting that mini Pillow Pet to match her big one! I tend to think about God's gift giving in this same light. He knows the BEST gifts to give.

Effective Prayer
Matthew 7:7-11
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents-if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

What do your prayers reveal about your desires? What gifts from God do you have to be thankful for today? What way can you give back to him?

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift! Merry Christmas!

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